Reflections on living and freedom

By Lidis Garbovan, PhD student in Sociology.

On 29 August 2017 the small town of McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, in the Himalayas was packed with thousands of people from several countries: Tibetans and Indians, Italians, Russians, Americans, British, Spanish, Colombians, as well as guests from Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore.

At 07.30am I joined the long queue to register for the event that all these people were here for: to attend the lectures of the 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1989 for his efforts towards peace and non-violence. Continue reading

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Policing pregnancy: the new attack on women’s autonomy

By Jennie Bristow.

Next year, 2018, will mark the centenary of British women gaining the right to vote. It was a qualified right, restricted to a particular section of women, but a crucial step forwards in the fight for women’s equality, leading quickly to the extension of suffrage in 1928. And look where we are now.

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Arlie Hochschild’s latest book explores the emotional universe of Trump’s support

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What we lose when Baby Boomers die

By Jennie Bristow.

This has been a terrible year for celebrity Baby Boomers. David Bowie, Alan Rickman, then Victoria Wood and Prince in the space of two days… From Newsnight to Facebook, the media are awash with tears and tributes. As the BBC noted on 22 April, ‘It now seems rare for a week to pass without a significant celebrity death being reported… “Enough, 2016” and a more vulgar alternative are phrases people are uttering more and more regularly’. Continue reading

Policing pregnancy is bad for babies

By Jennie Bristow.

When pregnant women are told about yet another thing that they should avoid doing in case it compromises the health of their fetus, barely an eyebrow is raised. Smoking? Of course not. Blue cheese? Don’t be daft. A glass of wine? Best not to, just in case. Eating anything at all? Well, if you must – but don’t get greedy now. Remember, being pregnant is no excuse for putting on weight.

So Professor Dame Sally Davies, the UK’s first female chief medical officer, demonstrated her sisterly solidarity just before Christmas by claiming that obesity should be treated as a ‘national risk’ alongside terrorism. Women, in particular, are in the frame; because, the Daily Telegraph reports, ‘rising levels of obesity in pregnancy are jeopardising the health of future generations’.

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